News Column

Mortgage Delinquencies Continue to Drop

July 9, 2013
Buyers in a house

Mortgage delinquency rates are continuing to fall, as lenders work through problem loans in the system and have fewer new loans that fall behind on payments.

That's according to a new report released Monday by Lender Processing Services Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., which sells technologies, data analysis and other services to mortgage lenders, servicers and investors.

The delinquency rate nationally dropped more than 15 percent from the end of December to the end of May, the most recent information available. As of May 31, 6.08 percent of the more than 50 million active home loans in the U.S. were delinquent, according to Lender Processing. It was the largest year-to-date drop in 11 years, the firm said.

Another 3.05 percent of mortgages are in foreclosure nationwide.

Delinquency rates in Ohio are slightly above the rest of the nation, the data show.

In Ohio, the delinquency rate sits at 6.9 percent of approximately 1.6 million active loans. Another 3.2 percent of home loans in Ohio are in foreclosure, according to Lender Processing's figures.

"Though they are still approximately 1.4 times what they were, on average, during the 1995 to 2005 period, delinquencies have come down significantly from their January 2010 peak," said Herb Blecher, applied analytics senior vice president for Lender Processing, in a statement.

"We looked once again at the number of 'underwater' loans in the U.S., and found that the total share of mortgages with (loan-to-values) of greater than 100 percent had declined to just 7.3 million loans as of the end of the first quarter of 2013. This accounts for less than 15 percent of all currently active loans and represents a nearly 50 percent year-over-year decline," Blecher said.

So-called "underwater" homes are when more is owed on the property than what it is worth. In Ohio, 17.1 percent of current loans were underwater as of March 31, also according to Lender Processing.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland estimated Ohio's home loan delinquency rate to be 8 percent at the end of 2012, down from 10 percent of mortgages in 2009.

Source: (c)2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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